Unleashing one of the most emotionally charged and disarming releases of 2021, today we have Illudium with “Ash of the Womb”. With a very difficult sound to define, the band mixes elements from acts like Kate Bush, Pencey Sloe, all the way to ISIS and Alcest, creating a very dreamy and yet powerful amalgamation of melancholic sounds. If you are looking for dark, dreamy, but with a hefty dose of fuzzy heavy riffs, this release is one you can’t miss.
Opening with the moody “Aster”, the band creates a very overpowering atmosphere with heavy distorted guitars paired with Shantel Amundson’s emotionally charged vocals and a slow but steady progression. As “Sempervirens” comes along, the mood shifts into a livelier Post-Rock/Metal territory with a wide variety of guitar progressions, crafty drumming and a solemn bass guitar line. We particularly enjoy how the band transitions between levels of melancholy, while keeping their signature elements intact.
Our favorite song has to be the lush “Soma Sema”, a track that feels like The Ocean-meets-Sylvaine thanks to its heavy distorted onslaughts perfectly paired with more down-tempo passages and highly emotional vocal melodies. If the listener is not completely intoxicated by Illudium after the first three songs, “Atopa” will cast an hypnotic net thanks to its expert pacing, playful guitar arrangements, and an overall dream-state atmospheric feeling with some cathartic moments.
Coming nearly unhinged, “Madrigal” is definitely one of the heaviest tracks with some intense moments, nicely guarded and introduced by calmer and more soothing passages. We are suckers for slow-building pieces and “Where Death and Dreams Do Manifest” is definitely a fine example of expert songwriting as the momentum building creates great expectation and also delivers with heavy distorted guitars and piercing vocals.
Overall, “As of the Womb” is one hell of an emotional and diverse release. While the band’s sound is enigmatic and unique, we love to hear all the influences of artists we love baked into a very cohesive and powerful package. While not fitting in any individual box, Illudium is a very engaging band that can appeal to countless music lovers, making them versatile and never dull. Definitely one of our top 20 releases of 2021.
|Album: Ash of the Womb
Label: Prophecy Productions
Release: October 15th, 2021
Genre: Dreamgaze / Post-Rock/Metal